Cycling in Rural Lanarkshire
Rebirth of Cycling in Rural Lanarkshire
Cycling is undergoing something of a re-birth and there are some particularly exciting new cycling developments in rural Lanarkshire.
Rural Lanarkshire has seen it all before. From the advent of the bicycle until the 1950s, Lanarkshire’s peaceful rural roads and lanes were very popular with cyclists. Within easy reach of the bustling towns and cities of the central belt, it was the perfect cycling antidote.
It is perhaps hard to believe but cyclists are now returning to Lanarkshire in even greater numbers than before.
Fun Cycle Routes in Lanarkshire
Everyday throughout the summer months there are cyclists undertaking the Land’s End to John O’Groats route to be found on the national cycle network cutting across the county, and new cycle routes through Larkhall and Hamilton are well underway.
The newest route from Chatelherault to Strathclyde Park is a completely traffic free route suitable for all the family.
Mountain biking is of course the exciting new growth area and more than 50 miles of new off-road tracks with great views have been opened up to at Whitelees wind farm, a few miles to the north of Strathaven to cope with the burgeoning demand.
For those who want something a little more adventurous there are long off-road cycle routes through the Lowther hills that follow old roads and forestry tracks.
If you prefer your cycling a little more sedate then look to the quiet roads that criss-cross rural Lanarkshire. The signed route from Lanark railway station to Biggar requires some effort to begin with but it soon settles down to follow hedge and dyke lined lanes that wobble and twist over the undulating landscape.
At Crawford and at Biggar there are so many miles of quiet roads going off in every direction that it would take several visits to exhaust all the cycling possibilities.
From the very welcoming market town of Biggar you can cycle north into the Pentland hills or east into the Border hills to Broughton.
From Crawford you can put together challenging cycle routes that take in several passes that rise to over 300 metres.
In recent years cycling in Lanarkshire has received the ringing endorsement of the annual Tour of Britain cycle race with the roads around Strathaven featuring regularly on the week-long tour.
Watch out for the cycling in Lanarkshire bug, it is highly contagious!
Rural Lanarkshire Cycling Highlights
National Cycle Network route 74 – this cycle route runs from Carlisle to Glasgow. Between Abington and Douglas the route mostly follows a traffic free cycle path running alongside the B7078. More information can be found on the Sustrans website.
Whitelee wind farm – more than 50 miles of tracks have recently been up to walkers and mountain bikers. Access the site from Ardoch Rig three miles north-west of Strathaven. More information can be found on the Visit Lanarkshire website here.
Details of a number of excellent cycle routes in Lanarkhsire can be found on the Visit Lanarkshire website by clicking here.